There’s still more MMA action to be held on Saturday night. Following UFC 286, the nightcap of a doubleheader day in the sport sees the eyes of the combat sports world fixated on Long Beach, CA, and Infinite Reality Studios for Urijah Faber‘s A1 Combat 9 and the A1 Combat 9 main event.
Saturday night’s action (main card 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT, UFC Fight Pass) is not only the last order of business for the MMA weekend, but it’s also the last card of A1 Combat‘s first year of operation. The next time A1 Combat comes to Fight Pass, it’ll be the night of April 28, when the promotion’s first anniversary will be commemorated with A1 Combat 10. More on that card as it draws closer.
All told, A1 Combat 9 will feature (barring any last-minute postponements ahead of fight night) eight contests. Highlighting the event is the battle for supremacy at 135 lbs. in the A1 Combat 9 main event.
Payton Talbott Defends Bantamweight Championship in A1 Combat 9 Main Event Saturday
Incumbent titleholder Payton Talbott (4-0 MMA, 2-0 A1 Combat) will put his 135-lb. strap at risk against challenger Cristhian Rivas (8-1-1 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut) in the A1 Combat 9 main event. Unlike title fights in most other MMA promotions, Saturday’s headliner is only a maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
A1 Combat 9 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the A1 Combat 9 main event on Saturday night, champion Payton Talbott stands as the taller man at 5-foot-10, compared to the 5-foot-5 frame of Cristhian Rivas. No reach information for either contender was available at press time.
Ordinarily, at this point in the breakdown, we would mention who’s favored in this fight according to the oddsmakers. However, as of Thursday afternoon, betting odds for this card had yet to be officially released.
If you plan on betting on any fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.
Payton Talbott Continues to Impress
Champion Payton Talbott enters the A1 Combat 9 main event having yet to lose thus far in his MMA career, amateur or professional. He’s had nine fights, he’s won nine fights.
Back in October, during A1 Combat 6’s main event, he stopped Anthony Jimenez (5-4-1, 1 NC MMA, 0-1 A1 Combat)with a second-round knockout due to a flying knee and punches This wasn’t a title fight, however, since Jimenez exceeded the bantamweight maximum by four pounds.
Despite that, Talbott demanded a championship belt if he won the fight. After the victory, he spoke with Garret Fertig.
“I just wanted to put on a good show for everyone, first and foremost,” the champion began. “I just wanted to get to know the guy. That’s why I do it in here. I feel like I got a good amount out of him.”
With another victory to his credit on Saturday night in the A1 Combat 9 main event. it would make 10 wins for Talbott across all competitions. Although UFC President Dana White is going to be fast asleep after the UFC 286 main event, a 10-0 start to an MMA career is next to impossible to ignore.
If Payton Talbott wins here, his odds of getting a UFC call-up in the near future have to increase. It starts with a defense of the championship in Long Beach. After that, the sky is the limit for this exciting prospect.
Cristhian Rivas Coming Off Eight-Month Layoff
In the other corner, Cristhian Rivas, a veteran of Ultimate Warrior Challenge, has posted an undefeated 5-0 record over the last five fights. On July 29, he battled Mahatma Garcia Avalos (10-9-1 MMA) to a unanimous decision after three rounds in UWC 29’s main event.
That card was noteworthy due to Brandon Uruchurtu dislodging his opponent’s mouthpiece with a punch in the main event. Uruchurtu won by knockout.
In recent times, Rivas’ gym, Fortis MMA, welcomed a new member: Brandon Moreno. The latter was forced to cut ties with James Krause‘s gym amid a scandal that stemmed from questionable wagering strategies related to a Nov. 5 bout featuring Krause and Darrick Minner.
After the scandal, Minner’s UFC contract was terminated.
Despite Rivas getting Brandon Moreno as a teammate late last year, Rivas hasn’t fought in close to eight months. How much ring rust does he have and is he ready to fight again?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the A1 Combat 9 main event looks to favor the debuting Cristhian Rivas, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, and Combat Sambo fighter, compared to Payton Talbott’s status as a high school wrestler. Thus, it stands to reason that you could be treated to a fight contested on the ground if you watch on Saturday night.
Jordan Talbott Can End The Fight in A Hurry
If there’s one constant about Jordan Talbott’s MMA career so far, it’s that a fight of his isn’t going the distance. A word to the wise if you choose to log onto Fight Pass and tune into the A1 Combat 9 main event: It’s best not to look away from the screen as you watch this young man fight.
If you do, you could end up missing the knockout. Back in 2019, when Talbott was still competing in the amateur ranks, he faced Alex Gamez in King of the Cage for that promotion’s Amateur Bantamweight Championship.
After a dominant first round, Jordan Talbott came out swinging right from the second period’s opening bell. He landed two punches in rapid succession and ended the fight with a kick to knock Gamez down and out.
That was Talbott’s last amateur bout. Since then, he’s fought five-minute rounds.
If Jordan Talbott is quick with the punches, look for the A1 Combat 9 main event to be an abbreviated contest.
…But So Can Rivas
In the other corner, Cristhian Rivas can also make short work of his opposition. During his fight against Juan Mendoza last year, Rivas landed an overhand punch to try to take Mendoza down, but Mendoza fought it off.
Rivas went back to the overhand a few moments later, forcing Mendoza to counterstrike, but the overhanded punches were Rivas’ bread and butter that night. The referee waved off the contest just over a minute after the command to fight.
All it will take for Cristhian Rivas to dethrone Jordan Talbott as the A1 Combat Bantamweight Champion is punches in bunches.
This looks to be a cracking affair in the A1 Combat 9 main event. Expect both fighters to give every ounce of strength they have on Saturday night.
Prediction: Jordan Talbott by First-Round Knockout.
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